The battered woman's need for assistance from others, like the violence she experiences, begins early in the marital or cohabiting relationship and continues to change over time as the man's violence grows more frequent and severe and the woman actively seeks a cessation to it. 1 Throughout this process, a dynamic pattern develops which includes: the violence itself, the couple's overall relationship, the woman's contact with outsiders and the responses of those contacted. Violence, contacts and responses become inextricably intertwined in the unfolding of the problem.